Updated: Sep 27, 2022
Welcome To ZaZen's Blog
My name is Monica Daza, I'm the founder of Zazen Meditation and Self-care Studio. I am a meditation practitioner, since early childhood. Since then, contemplative practices are a part of my daily ritual. Having battled with depression and anxiety, meditation allowed me to tap into my own self-healing, and inspired me to talk about stigmas regarding mental health. I hope this blog creates a safe space to share, learn and empower ourselves with openness and authenticity.
In this platform we will discuss about Mindfulness and mental health, Ayurveda care and Lifestyle, Holistic Self-care and Emotional balance.
I hope this blog creates a safe space to share, learn and empower ourselves with openness and authenticity.
This month's blog is about breaking the myths and bringing clarity to the different misconceptions about meditation. The information in this article will help you navigate the seven most popular misconceptions about the ancient practice of meditation that you may encounter in the meditation journey.
1. In meditation the mind is thoughtless.
At the primary level, the function of the mind is to protect us from danger, including process experiences through your senses. Its additional purpose is also to collect information for evaluation, analysis, and to react to any stimuli of the environment; whether to take action or not. We are always thinking; the human brain can generate anywhere between 60K - 80K thoughts in a day. Did you know that half of your thoughts are from decades ago? We are thought-recyclers! It’s not possible to stop the mind.
During meditation, we become aware of them without interacting or giving them extra energy. In meditation, we choose to observe the thoughts, the feelings, the sensations and the emotions as they unfold. For Example you may Imagine your thoughts are floating leaves on a river stream; this action becomes on its own your meditation.
“In zazen, let your front door and your back door open. Let your thoughts come and go. Just don’t serve them tea.”
2. In meditation you are not to move.
From the start of a meditation session, there is emphasis on “comfort”; it is key to sit still for a certain period of time. Adopt a position, with a cushion or chair, that is comfortable, easy to sustain to embody both wakefulness and dignity. If the body asks you to, move slowly, in a mindful way to reduce disturbances and to settle back in a comfortable posture.
It is recommended to keep your eyes gazing downward, to reduce external stimuli. If it feels safe, you may choose to keep them closed. Also, another tactic is to imagine with your mind’s eyes to drive your attention towards your heart center. This two-step tactic aims to keep the attention inwardly.
3. If the the mind is blank, other energies might enter the mind.
The mind doesn’t really go into a blank canvas. However, by slowing down, the mind may experience a subtle and refined energy; you may experience different colours and shapes. This is your own energy; in meditation, typically, external energy does not enter and is unable to take over space in your mind. If you are experiencing a beautiful session and feeling bliss, enjoy it. There is no need to rationalize this feeling; simply surrender your mind to whatever arises in that present moment.
4. I don’t know how to concentrate.
In a meditation session, concentrated attention to the session is a skillful talent to direct body sensations or breathing rhythm. This technique is to bring the attention back to the present experience, to avoid it going to the past or future. In the beginner’s stage, it is important to cultivate a beginner’s mind approach by replacing judgement with a sense of curiosity. Instead of having a mindset of “I have to get it right,” bring in the playfulness of your inner child. The more you practice, the easier it becomes to sustain focus and to stay alert and relaxed.
5. It requires too much time to get results.
The time that you invest in a formal seated-meditation, the benefits will accumulate. Similar to a bank account, the more money you save, the more interest is returned on your investment. To achieve results, start small, like 3 to 5 minutes daily and slowly increase by a minute per day, until reaching 20 minutes of daily silence meditation.
Another analogy is to think of the mind like the surface of a rough river; the surface of the water may show turbulence and agitation, but the deeper the river, the calmer the surface of the water becomes. The mind is like a wild river. It can take approximately 20 minutes for the mind to settle and gradually, it can penetrate into a more stillness state. Whether you invest 3 minutes daily or 20, make them the best minutes of your day.
Aim for a gradual time investment to build effortless focus, increased patience and spiritual stamina. The ripple effects of your investment will multiply in all aspects of your inner and outer life, including long lasting physical, mental and emotional benefits.
This simple process is nurturing for the mind it allows the mind to detox, recycle and make space for new ideas and creativity.
As we meditate regularly, we feel that we travel less heavy and lighter in life.
6. I am not a religious person so I cannot meditate.
Most Eastern and Western traditions have a form of meditation, also known as contemplative practices to connect with your divine nature, is that is the purpose Mindfulness meditation is a self-care practice for the mind. It’s a mental fitness exercise similar to the way you strengthen physical muscles when weight lifting, jogging, swimming or dancing. Meditation is an exercise for the mind. We don't have to live in ashrams, caves or monastery to meditate, all you need is a comfortable, quiet and space where you feel safe. Congress women and men, olympic athletes,
business people, young and old, people from all religions, belief, gender, race and all political affiliations can meditate. You can meditate even if don’t follow or identify with any spiritual tradition. "Meditation itself is a human experience not a religious one ".-Dr. Martin Hart
7. Will I become enlightened?.
Through out the History has show that masters or sages such as the Buddha and Jesus they walk this Earth and during their life time they reached the highest level of consciousness that a human being can experiment, known as enlightenment, illumination or nirvana.
There is no such a goal during meditation. The act of seating in meditation just to be with you and only you, is one of the most humblest and self-loving act that you can offer to yourself, leaving behind all sort of expectations, you are already doing this is enough. The beautiful thing when we meditate is that we don’t gain anything, instead we loose anxiety, fear, depression, sadness and attachment to things, relationships, insecurities, unhealthy habits, old patters, among many other things.
For the overachiever it's bad news, this is the only activity where you can put aside perfectionism, consider that if you are seating already you are doing it right. The correct meditation is the one you do on the cushion, that's simple!
We are all born with an innate gift, so you can explore the gift and see what is inside for you. Everybody is born wired to meditate but not everyone can develop the grit for it. Like your home internet connection’s widthband the more robust is the band, the higher the speed and receptivity. In Meditation the more regular you seat back on the cushion, the experience of self-awareness increases, the more connected, grounded, expansiveness, acceptance and loving you inner experience is when you go out into the regular world, here is where the real paid-off is, you practice on the cushion, you experiment what you practice outside.
Perhaps, you may want to investigate what have drown you to star a regular meditation practice? what are your deepest desires to meditate? Perhaps you want to feel more harmonious and balance or maybe you want to be more resilient and less reactive or be more content so whatever your desires is, you are investing in yourself by cultivating and planting new seeds in the garden on the mind. The more you meditate the deeper you go with in, the less separate you feel from others, the more union you experiment within yourself and the world, and so everyone benefits not only you but everyone in your family, friends, at work and your community. Win-Win!. No need to feel different is anything you feel more available to help and to make a difference in your regular life.
We all need courage to continue and from than we all have enough do dig in and your heart centre holds the key.
Mindfulness, Meditation and Mind Fitness by Joel Level & Michelle Level.
The Best Meditations on the Planet. By Dr. Martin Hart & Skye Alexander.
Monica, enjoys sharing her passion to empower women in creating a wholesome approach to mindfulness, self-care and healing by integrating the science of Ayurveda together with the therapy of yoga and mindfulness to unfold your fullest potential. Offering custom one on one services and in group settings.
Her credentials include: Akhanda classical yoga instructor, Ayurveda and Yoga therapist, Yoga for limited mobility, Restorative Yoga, Yoga for emotional balance, Healing meditation, Mantra and Mindfulness based stress reduction. Monica is a strong advocate for mental health in her community and actively collaborates with the non-profit organization, Youth Mental Health Canada.
Find out more by visiting:
Subscribe to get the latest events
Leave a comment, suscribe to our monthly blog, connect